AUCKLAND: New Zealand Cricket has said no to a request for the Blackcaps to tour Pakistan for the first time in 15 years, reported News Hub.
The Blackcaps will head to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in October to face Pakistan in three tests, three one day internationals and three Twenty 20 matches.
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) officials had hoped to convince officials to move the T20 series to Pakistan, but New Zealand Cricket has informed the PCB that won’t be happening.
“At the end of the day, it came down to following the advisory and the security reports we’d obtained.” NZ Cricket Chairman Greg Barclay told media.
“There’s no doubt they (Pakistan Cricket Board) are disappointed. I think they saw a tour by a country like New Zealand as being a great precedent for them to start to build an international programme back in Pakistan.
“So they’re disappointed but they’re good guys, we get on really well with Pakistan, and I think they’re fully accepting of the decision that we’ve reached.”
New Zealand last visited Pakistan in 2003, a year after a bomb blast outside the team’s hotel in Karachi brought a premature end to the tour.
Pakistan have played most of their ‘home’ games in the U.A.E. since a 2009 terrorist attack on a Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore.
Asked if Blackcaps players were prepared to go to Pakistan and whether New Zealand Cricket would have been able to send a team, Barclay said “I think that probably would have been difficult for a variety of reasons. We, fortunately, didn’t get to the point where we had to have those discussions.”
“We’re very sympathetic to the plight they find themselves in, we’re a member of the ICC, we’re very aware that the ICC are trying to facilitate more international cricket in Pakistan and we’re very supportive of that.
“But all circumstances considered, we just decided circumstances weren’t right for us to tour at the moment,” said Barclay.
Two to three months of due diligence was undertaken to analyse risk, but Barclay confirmed New Zealand Cricket did not send any of their own representatives to conduct their own checks.
In April, the West Indies became the first side to tour Pakistan in nine years, playing a three-match T20 series. The series passed without incident, and West Indies coach Stuart Law was satisfied that his team were safe.
“The security has been outstanding,” Law said.
“We were communicated very well about the issues or incidents that may arise here, but we haven’t seen any of them.”
“It’s a bit daunting for the people outside but once you get here and see it for yourself, you feel more confident.”
“People will still have reservations but from what I’ve seen here it’s more than adequate that’s for sure to make sure that we can get cricket back in Pakistan.”
Barclay said the success of the West Indies tour was taken into consideration when New Zealand Cricket made its decision.
“I can’t comment on the decision process that the West Indies went through, perhaps some of the timings may have been different as well, I just know that we went through a very thorough process and I’m comfortable with the decision that we got to” Barclay said.